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Here's an update to a chart I have shown regularly. Housing PRICES showed a bottom a while ago. Due to crowding out from the fiscal stimulus, it was expected that a housing recovery would be more visible in housing prices than in housing CONSTRUCTION. Nevertheless, it would not be a housing recovery unless construction increased to more normal levels, which is why I have watched the construction activity closely.

I have expected non-residential construction to be high, and it is compared to most of 2007 and all of the years before that. But it appears that construction spending now is just a bit lower than it was when the recession began.

Note that this graph is construction SPENDING, which differs from the VOLUME of construction according to construction prices. 2009's construction prices must be especially low, so a time series for the volume of construction activity should show 2009 to be less below prior years' than shown by the spending series.

Source: Construction Spending: On the Rise